I moved from Glasgow to Edinburgh five years ago and was a new mum in a new city, feeling slightly lost and unconnected to the city, when I set up the EGG Facebook page.
Not a fan of search engines, I was keen to find out where women like me were going for haircuts, good meals and kid-friendly activities and so initially the group was set up purely to give and get great local recommendations. It quickly became much more than that though – within a few months it was a 5000-strong supportive and collaborative community, a safe place where women listened, confided in each other, opened and shared.
I had a full-time job with Cheeky Chompers, who make baby products, at the time and so the group was my part-time project, it was great fun and we were soon approached by local businesses wanting to offer the group exclusive discounts.
Graduating from QMC with a degree in Food Science, I fell into a career in sales quite quickly and worked for Cadbury Schweppes in Melbourne, Nestle in London and Morphsuits in Edinburgh.
Sales is in my blood; my dad had his own business, in fact he had several. Growing up, when the phone rang at home we didn’t know if we’d have to sell a sunbed, rent out a TV or flog a water filter, but we’d switch to sales mode and would often take orders between Dallas or Dempsey & Makepeace, much to our annoyance. I don’t think being part of a family business ever leaves you and I’ve often struggled being managed, keen to do my own thing but never knowing how to make it happen.
As I started to watch the EGG community grow (it now stands at more than 12,000 members) it became clear there were many women just like me, women who wanted to connect with each other, who were new to the city and feeling lost, many new mums finding their way, and lots working from home or remotely – a large number looking for support, looking for that network, and many wanting to take the online community offline.
So that became the focus of the business, which we launched 12 months ago. Members pay a yearly subscription giving them access to curated events and exclusive offers. In the second half of last year we hosted over 20 events including health and wellbeing, networking events and exclusive shopping night. My favourite events have been the ones that are making a difference and cover topics such as grief, anxiety and maternal mental health.
We now enjoy great partnerships with companies including Coulters estate agents, Gleneagles, lululemon, The Balmoral, Tribe yoga and lots of independent businesses. The business is changing all the time and it’s important to let it evolve organically and let your customers lead the way.
This year we’ll launch in Glasgow and after that, who knows? I’d love to take EGG into lots of different cities, help build communities of women supporting women across the UK – it might mean I have to survive on a little less sleep and juggle just a little harder, but that’s what so many working women have to do every day, right?